Monday, April 14, 2008

Now Write!

This week is actually our co-contributor, Shirley Harkins week to blog, however, she has been diagnosed with cancer. Would you mind stopping right now and pray for her healing?

Today, I want to recommend to you, Now Write edited by Sherry Ellis. Here is the blurb from the back of the book:

What's the secret behind the successful and prolific careers of critically acclaimed novelists and short story writers Amy Bloom, Steve Almond, Jayne Anne Phillips, Alison Lurie, and others? Divine assistance? Otherworldly talent? An unsettlingly close relationship with the Muse? While the rest of us are staring at blank sheets of paper, struggling to come up with a first sentence, these writers are busy polishing off story after story and novel after novel. Despite producing work that may seem effortless, all of them have a simple technique for fending off writer's block: the writing exercise. In Now Write!, Sherry Ellis collects the personal writing exercises of today's best writers and lays bare the secret to their success.

I have noticed when I cold write my prose isn't half as good as when I've taken the opportunity to warm-up. What better way to get those brain juices flowing than to exercise? I know, exercise is a nasty word, however everyone truly benefits from it.

I was telling someone the other day you can read many books on the subject of point of view and learn from it, but when you apply what you've learned to paper and pencil...that's when it sinks in. Which is why I'm recommending this book.

From cover to cover, it is one exercise after another in many different subjects. For example take a look at these topics: Get Writing, Point of View, Character Development, Dialogue, Plot and Pacing, Setting and Description, Craft, and Revision. Each chapter is filled with published author's insights and an exercise to help get you motivated and warmed-up to write.

On your mark...get set...Now Write!


  1. Sounds great. We may all find we have to go get the books another blogs about. Guess we'll read even more books that way. I need to speed up my reading somehow.
    Good job, Debra.

  2. This sounds a very interesting book. I find writing exercises very helpful. When I'm finding it difficult to start, I free write for five or ten minutes, just to losen up. I also find picking random words or emotions and writing a couple of sentences a great way to come up with new story ideas. I never thought of it as exercising my writing muscles though - good way of thinking about it!

  3. This sounds like it would be a good book to practice different areas of writing. I'll have to watch for it at the bookstore.


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